Upper Demerara retain overall title
- national schools athletics c'ships

By Michael DaSilva
at Albion
Stabroek News
April 2, 2000

Defending champions District 10 Upper Demerara successfully defended their championship title by carting off top honours in all the disciplines - swimming, track and field and cycling - at the Ministry of Education and Guyana Teachers' Union's 40th schools national track and field, cycling and swimming championships which climaxed yesterday at the Albion Community centre ground.

By winning the swimming championship the opening day (Tuesday) and the other disciplines over the other days, the Lindeners won the Milo challenge trophy for an overall 80 points accumulated while North Georgetown placed second with 60 points.

Upper Demerara totalled 502 points in the track and field which ended yesterday, 238 in the teachers championship, 283 at swimming and 228 in the cycling aspect.

North G/town were second in the track and field (502) and seventh in the teachers' championships

Apart form winning the overall championship, athletes from the mining town cooped several individual prizes.

Kwame Caesar of East Georgetown captured two gold medals in the boys' under-20 100 and 200 metres events. He checked in 10.9 seconds in the 100 to stave off a strong challenge from Cliff Shepherd (11.0) and Michael Saul respectively. He then came back later in the day to win the 200 metres from Saul and Taz Morgan respectively. In the 400 metres on Thursday he was beaten by Oliver Phillips.

In the girls' 100 metres Michelle Vaughn North G/T was adjudged the winner from Keisha Burnette (West Berbice) and Farai Barrow (NA/Canje) after Vaughn's team manager lodged a protest. Burnette was announced the winner in 12.3 seconds and Vaughn second in 12.6. But the jury of appeal said they reviewed a video of the race and saw both athletes toes on the finish line with Vaughn's in front. Vaughn was subsequently given Burnette's time (12.3). Burnette however reversed the decision in the 200 metres with Vaughn second and Barrow third.

The girls' under-17 100 metres also saw a protest being lodged but this time around the race was re-run. In the first instance Ulanda James of Dist 10 jumped the gun and the race was not called back so she went on to win (12.7 sec.) from Adline Ralph (South G/T) and Latoya Shelto (North West). Her manager lodged a protest and the jury of appeal ordered a re-run and the second time around Ralph won in the same time (12.7) from James and Shelto.

Ralph came back in the girls' U-17 200 to win easily from Shelto and Latoya Thomas (ECD) respectively. The most outstanding awards winners follow:

Track and field
Shondell Johnson (10) won the girls'U-17 athlete award with 26 points, Seon Forde (10) won the boys' U-17 award with 18 points.

Cycling Sharon Trotman won the girls' open award and team mate Ryan Austin the boys award in the same age group. Trotman tallied 40 points and Austin 32.

Teachers' athletics
Carol Benjamin won the female U-40 award, Kevin Bonnette the male 21-30, Charles Jerry U-21 male and Juanita Fullington female U-21.

Colin Mercurius the boys' open champion award (it is still not clear what is the difference between open and U-20 but this is what was announced)

The female open champion is Janice Cornette (Dist 2 Essequibo/Pomeroon). She did not win an event and did not accumulate as much points as Anarika February who won 3 events and placed 4th in another.

The final day saw 9 records being broken, four were in the teachers events, three in cycling and two in track and field.

In the girls' U-11 200 metres, Rhondell Alleyne of East GT clocked 28.7 seconds to erase the 1991 record of 28.9 set by Liani Schultz of East Coast. Malika David threw the shot 8.35 metres to better the 8.30m done by Andrea McDonald of North GT in 1991. Davis is from North GT (U-15 age group).